• SHRM14 Is Open

    It is here #SHRM14.  Got here yesterday, and hooked up with some old friends for a great dinner, some silliness and drinks.   It is go day today Sunday, day one of the conference.

    Arriving at SHRM14

    Arriving at SHRM14

    So far most of the talk is about certification – duh.  At this point everyone knows that this could have been handled better.  Have you ever screwed up anything at work?  I have.  On the run up to the conference SHRM has worked diligently to communicate to its membership about this.  I have been on calls at the national, state and local level; all of which were designed to push the message out. I have heard from numerous SHRM officials that they know they handled this poorly.  All of us are held accountable for our actions at work, just as the SHRM folks should be. I am sure that a few people at Duke Street “heard about this.”

    There will be more meetings today with the volunteer leaders and the general membership.  The new certification process is probably going to get top billing.

    Perhaps by the end of the conference, if the efforts are successful, this wrong will be righted.  If you are part of the faithful, listen to message, hear what is being said and give SHRM a chance to explain the whole matter.  Remember if you are like me you have probably screwed up a thing or two at work, listen up and see what is being said about this.

     
  • Your First SHRM National Conference

    Is this your FIRST SHRM National Conference? If so, this post is directed to you.  If you have been before you are welcome to review my thoughts, and add any helpful thoughts you might have in the comments section. I am told by a reliable SHRM insider that there will be a session Sunday morning for first time attendees, so you might check on that as an option while you are at registration.

    Ok so it is your first National Conference, this is called THE BIG SHOW for many reasons, and it is BIG.  In recent years the number of attendees has been from 12,000 to 14,000 +.  Then when you factor in the speakers, the vendors, staff and the other hangers on the number can grow to about 15,000.   So SHRM, takes over the town for a few days.  If you fly in, I would guess that 25% to 33% of the folks on the flight are bound for the conference. The conference fills dozens of hotels (45 official hotels this year), and there may be as many as 60 coaches in operation shuttling conferences guest to various designations.

    This convention is one of a few that can only be held in certain select cities, because they have enough infrastructure in place to support an event of this magnitude.

    Me and my MNSHRM buddy Tiffany Kuehl hamming it up at #SHRM13 in Chicago.

    Me and my MNSHRM buddy Tiffany Kuehl hamming it up at #SHRM13 in Chicago.

    This conference costs a lot to attend, just in case you haven’t figured that out yet.  Depending upon your conference fee, your travel, lodging and meals can easily tip over the $3K mark, so if your employer is sending you to this you should be prepared upon your return to explain the value proposition to them – what did they get for their three grand (keep this in mind as we go through this post.)

    The pre-conference (Student portion) and other events start on Saturday June 21 and run through Wednesday June 25.  Within the time frame SHRM is offering up hundreds (I am not sure of the exact number) of sessions.  The sessions are wide and varied. You need a plan. What do you want to learn about?  Who do you want to hear speak? What topics do not interest you and what sessions do you want to steer clear of.  This is the plan.  Get the conference planner, go on line or download the conference app when it comes out.  Then plan your conference and work your plan, otherwise it will be sheer and utter chaos and you will not accomplish nearly what you need to, in order to provide value to your organization (remember that is why you are attending).

    Hopefully there are some people at this event that you would like to meet.  Whether it is an author, a speaker, an HR peer, me or Hank Jackson, include this in your plan. SHRM also does an interesting thing where you can get paired up with people you don’t know and share a meal with them.  Some of your meet and greet plans might not come to fruition, but if you do not plan to meet these people it most likely will not happen. Do keep this in mind most people are very approachable and truly like meeting people. Also plan to see any HR colleagues who may be attending the event. That is always enjoyable. (I always have a huge list of people to meet and to see.)

    The exhibit hall is huge. Plan to spend quite a bit of time wandering this floor. There will be over 1000 vendors in the hall. This may very well be where you will find that value I have been speaking of in this post.  In the vendor hall you will see all of the latest and greatest stuff in the world for HR.  All of these vendors want to talk to YOU and tell you about their stuff.  Be courteous to all of them, but at least have an idea of some of the type of vendors you should be speaking to.  You will find out what is new in this area, where the markets are going and what your company is or isn’t doing right.  Also understand that all of the vendors you engage with, will most likely follow up with you.  This, after all is why they are there.  If you are not interested in any further information, you can very nicely tell them so, so that they don’t waste their time or your time.

    Don’t forget to plan a little me time too.  Whether it is taking in some local culture, via a restaurant or a night spot, or seeing a local attraction like umm WDW don’t deny yourself this – just remember the value proposition and bring it home with you. Enjoy the conference!

     

     
  • Living with Hurricanes

    I have come to HR Florida despite some trepidation about coming to Florida. Why?  Well in case you had not heard there has been a tropical storm Issac, bouncing around in the Caribbean and then turning into the Gulf of Mexico.  Fortunately the storm has not moved in the direction of the west coast of Florida. Before heading out I contacted some of friends here in Florida, and they were pretty much unconcerned about the hurricane.

    So here is what I have learned about living in Florida and hurricanes. I liken it to being around someone with a gun.  That is something to be concerned about.  You watch them see what signals they are sending out and so on.  Now when the armed person points the gun at you, you get distressed.  That would be the equivalent of the hurricane warning. You are paying attention and should be ready to take action.  Lastly the armed person pulls the hammer back on the pistol with it still pointed at you.  This would be the hurricane hitting land where you live – and you can still get out of the situation at this point. You should have made some plans for the event.

    Here is my point, you can’t stop your life because something bad might happen (although it probably miss you where ever you are). You can not put your life on hold because of a hurricane.

    I am glad that I decided to go ahead and come to HR Florida and didn’t wimp out based on the unlikely event that Issac was going to hit the area.  Life goes on – man up and deal with, the Floridians deal with this for about half of the year.

    More from HR Florida later….